Quick fix to monitoring conundrum saves time and money

Trimble technology has provided the solution to a monitoring need that would otherwise have required two manned locations operating 24/7.

Required for just two months on a major Brisbane road project, the monitoring was needed to report on deformation in a sensitive work area during foundation works.  On top of that, the work zone was a busy one with machinery and workers operating in it around the clock.

At just 150m long and under 20m wide, the tight site needed two separate vantage points for 40 monitoring prisms.  The two total stations deployed were able to give overlapping coverage as well as minimising obstructions on the site.

The system was deployed and live within days of the client’s decision to proceed with the hire, which meant significant delays and associated costs were avoided.

Solar kits to power the system were installed on Kelly blocks on the edge of site so traffic flow was not affected.

The use of Trimble 4D control, Trimble S9s and the Settop M1s that made up the solution to this monitoring problem meant there was no need for manned survey locations, which would have been required around the clock – another cost saving.  The automated system also worked faster than any manned station could as turnaround for data processing and reporting is in real time.

“We collected data at a resolution not possible with traditional methods,” UPG’s Brent Dawson said.  “Through the use of automated alarming we had the ability to be ready to stop works if deformation was occurring and also had a streamlined daily report that was available for quick review all in once place.”

AllTerra and UPG have the solutions and expertise you need whatever the task. Talk to us today about how we can help you.

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Trimble and UPG help maritime operation get the very best from its investment

South Australia based marine contractor Maritime Constructions has used its long relationship with UPG (Ultimate Positioning Group) to get the absolute best out of a new dredge on a recent capital dredging project.

Maritime Constructions (MC) is a family owned company and has been a client of UPG since the late 1990s.  In fact, UPG’s marine and dredging specialist Dene Oehme, was the Maritime Constructions surveyor for eight years and since joining UPG, he’s helped MC with various positioning solutions.   In June, 2018 they approached Dene with a challenge: They had won a big capital works dredging contract and had ordered a new dredge for the job. They wanted Dene to source and commission the ‘latest and best’ in dredge management and navigation from Trimble.

The cutter suction dredge is a Damen CSD500 from The Netherlands.  By default, these machines come with a navigation system included but MC considered and rejected this option.  Instead they specifically wanted to go with Trimble due to the local support they knew they would get from UPG Adelaide.

“I discussed requirements with the project manager, Sikko Krol (formerly with Boskalis Dredging from The Netherlands) and we settled on a system that was so new in the Trimble product line-up that at the time, there hadn’t been another such system installed on any Australian dredge,” Dene said.

The system consists of:

On the Dredge:
Trimble Marine Construction software
Trimble MPS865 GNSS
Trimble Cutter Suction Dredge, CAN based sensor kit
Positel linear sensor for “spud” position data

RTK Base Station:
Trimble SPS855 with all GNSS constellations enabled
Trimble TDL450h base radio
Trimble Zephyr 3 Base antenna

For Surveying:
Trimble TSC7
Trimble SPS986 GNSS rover
Sonarmite BTX single beam Hydrographic Survey system.

The project involved the removal of nearly 1 million cubic metres of material from tidal Beedon Creek at Onslow, Western Australia, and dredging of the sea-floor leading into the creek to create a 50m-wide shipping channel.  This established a deep-water port which will operate as a marine support base for local fishing, mining and tourism.

Once the dredge was delivered to Australia, Dene met the crew on-site to install, commission and calibrate the Trimble Dredge Management System.

“I trained the dredge crew in its operation and their new surveyor on basic Hydrographic Surveying techniques as they apply to dredge support,” he said.

“Having worked in that role at Maritime Constructions for eight years myself, I knew exactly what they expected and this allowed me to give specific instruction to their surveyor on the ‘MC way’ of doing things and what they would expect of him.

“I had planned to return to the site after a few weeks to fix any problems and fine tune the system.  I contacted Sikko several times soon after works commenced to ask when he would like me to visit but each time I wasn’t needed.  The whole system was working perfectly and performing as required and expected from day one.

“The on-site training gave the crews the knowledge to do their system checks and calibrations when required and to extract the daily log and volume data to satisfy the clients reporting requirements.”

“It’s also worth mentioning that environmental management, close consultation with community and stakeholders plus the flexibility to modify the project on the run to meet desired outcomes are all vital factors in modern dredging,” Dene said.

“This project was no different and it is a credit to Sikko and the wider Maritime Constructions management team that these concerns have been met efficiently and thoroughly to the benefit of all involved.  Part of that was having absolute confidence in the position of the cutter head at all times and the Trimble Dredge Management System, based around the Trimble Marine Construction software, provides this certainty.”

Based on the success of this system and the project outcomes overall, Maritime Constructions have begun planning further enhancements to their fleet’s capabilities with Trimble technology.  The company has five dredges, three large ‘dumb’ barges and several other large work boats and landing barges.

“UPG Adelaide looks forward to being involved as these developments arise and take pride in the gains in efficiency and accuracy we have been able to provide Maritime Constructions to date,” Dene said.

Project protecting unique environment turns to Trimble

A world-first ecological project team has employed Trimble technology as part of a push to rid an island environment of rodents. 

Located about 600km east of the NSW coast, Lord Howe Island’s isolation and its varied landscape are home to many unique and endemic species. 

This includes 241 species of indigenous plants, almost 50% of which are found nowhere else in the world; 207 species of bird, including the endangered Lord Howe Island Woodhen; and 1,600 terrestrial insect species, including the world’s rarest insect, the Lord Howe Island phasmid. 

The presence of exotic rodents on islands is one of the greatest causes of species extinction in the world. 

Rats have already been implicated in the extinction of five endemic bird species, at least 13 species of endemic invertebrates, and two plant species on the island. 

Rodents are also a recognised threat to at least 13 other bird species, two reptiles, 51 plant species, 12 vegetation communities and seven species of threatened invertebrates on the island. 

Trimble GNSS technology was used during the implementation of a rodent baiting program which was part of the LHIB’s Protecting Paradise Program, an island-wide, holistic ecological restoration program. 

The simple requirement was to find the best GNSS available that could integrate with LHIB’s field mapping software to lay out bait stations in a precise 10m x 10m grid across specific areas on the island, mainly in habituated areas. 

As well, GNSS was required for hand spreading baits in buffer zones between settled areas of the island and mountainous areas, which had been aerial baited. 

A number of GNSS options were trialled and with the tree and other foliage canopy being substantial in much of the target area, many of the trialled GNSS weren’t up to the task, in particular in relaying data to the phones being used for data capture. 

The best equipped tool was the Trimble R10. 

Twenty R10 rovers, receiving corrections broadcasted from an R10 base station and TDL450 repeater were the backbone of the solution. 

Android deviceswere used as handheld controllers with TrimbleGNSS Statussoftware installed. 

GNSS Statuswas using the R10 rover as its location source and the Android devicesMock Locationswas set to GNSS Status. 

This setup effectively provided the Android devices running the LHIB’s mapping software with RTK precision. 

A simple stake out to the grid points to lay the baits in the correct location was field workflow. 

Grant Harper, from Biodiversity Restoration Specialists, said for such a complex and large operation, accuracy and dependability was essential. 

“This is the largest eradication program of its kind ever undertaken anywhere in the world,” he said. 

“We needed to lay out around 19,000 bait stations plus about 6,000 hand broadcast points. 

“We did a lot of trialling of equipment for this project and the Trimble gear stood out, particularly for its accuracy. 

“It is a very complex site as it includes around 900 buildings of all sizes, so the accuracy was crucial. 

 “As well, the team from UPG was very helpful and quickly understood what we needed to do with the R10 units. 

 “Nothing was too much trouble for them – it was a good experience. 

“We used about 20 R10s and they pulled them from around Australia for us. Most projects would use one or two so to be able to provide that many was brilliant.” 

Grant said that while the program was set to end in early November, it would be 12 months before its success of otherwise was known. 

“We have to wait to see if any breeding happens post baiting,” he said. 

“This kind of project is very binary – we either have or haven’t eradicated the rodents.” 

At its core, the Protecting Paradise Program aims to support the removal of destructive invasive species, namely rodents and noxious weeds, while maintaining protection of threatened species by establishing a sustainable and robust bio security system to prevent the introduction and establishment of invasive species. 

These programs complement significant achievements to date including the eradication of cats and pigs in the 1980’s, feral goats in 1999, and myrtle rust in 2018, a world-first. 

To learn more about how Trimble technology can take your operations to a new level, contact us today.